The West Nile virus was discovered within the mosquito pattern pool close to downtown San Antonio, in response to Metro Well being

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A mosquito sample pool southwest of downtown San Antonio tested positive for the West Nile virus last month, according to the city’s Metropolitan Health District.

In a press release distributed Thursday, Metro Health said that the Texas Department of Health notified the city council of the positive test on October 20. This is the second time a pool of samples has tested positive for the virus in San Antonio this year. A sample collected east of downtown on July 15 was also positive. Metro Health said it covered both areas.

ALSO READ: Mosquitoes in 21 Texas counties, including Bexar, tested positive for the West Nile virus in 2020

So far this year, 21 counties in Texas have reported a trace of the West Nile virus in farm animals, humans or mosquitoes, according to the state.

West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is most commonly transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Central Texas has mosquitos year round, but the population is most active during the summer and fall, according to Subway Health.

Symptoms of infection can include a fever, headache, body pain, rash, and swollen lymph nodes. People over 50 or with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of severe symptoms. There are no vaccines for the virus or drugs to treat people who test positive.

Metro Health is asking residents to remove stagnant water from their homes to prevent mosquitoes from entering their area and laying eggs outside of their place of residence. The city says emptying, scrubbing, or turning the following items at least once a week: vases; Water bowls for pets; Flower pot saucers; discarded tires; Bucket; Pool covers; Bird baths; Garbage can; and rain barrels.

Also, according to Metro Health, there are a few things you can do to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your area:

  • Follow the tips for safe water storage: If water needs to be stored, cover the storage containers tightly to keep mosquitoes from entering and laying eggs.
  • Improving hygiene: When water is contaminated with organic matter (e.g. animal waste, grass, and leaves), mosquito larvae may be more likely to survive as contaminated matter provides food for the larvae to eat.
  • Protect yourself: Wear long sleeved shirts, long pants and socks to protect exposed skin at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are active. Avoid using perfumes and colognes when working outdoors. Use an insect repellent that contains DEET or picaridin on skin that is not covered by clothing.

For more tips, see sanantonio.gov.

Priscilla Aguirre is a general affairs reporter for MySA.com | priscilla.aguirre@express-news.net | @CillaAguirre

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